ANSON, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The Bluebonnet facility in Jones County will soon transition to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center for illegal immigrants.
On Tuesday, officials opened the facility to the public for a tour.
Its been roughly three months since the Bluebonnet facility was officially signed into being.
First, the intake section, where detainees must be processed within 12 hours of being brought to the facility.
These temporary cells hold about 20 people each, according to Marc J. Moore, Ice Field Director, Dallas Office.
“It’s also over here that they’ll exchange their street clothing for regular clothing,” Moore says.
It’s also during intake when the medical needs of detainees will first be assessed, with consultations happening at small tables with members of the 35-person Bluebonnet medical staff. like director of nursing vanessa enriquez
“We’re able to have a dentist on staff, a gynecologist on staff, nurse practitioners, nurses, RNs and LVNs,” says Director of Nursing, Vanessa Enriquez.
From there, the detainees will get their uniforms and their dorm assignments.
The dorms will also have tablets complete with video-calling capabilities.
There are 25 dorms total to house up to 1,000 detainees, and despite earlier reports, the facility will house up to 72 women.
The facility has a full kitchen, indoor and outdoor recreation areas, and virtual courtrooms, where judges will decide if detainees will be granted asylum, permanent stay, or deportation.
Moore says the facility is a new era of hope for the building which has sat vacant for a decade after the State of Texas pulled out of its agreement to fill the space with inmates.
“Jones County now has something that will put to use something that’s been nine years in the making,” Moore says.
It’s not yet certain when the first residents of the former prison will arrive, but the Bluebonnet facility grows closer and closer to their arrival every day.
Public tours of the Bluebonnet Detention Facility will be Wednesday from 5-8 p.m.
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